This Citrus and Fennel Pork Loin recipe is an extremely easy way to impress a crowd. After only a few minutes of prepping, you let the oven do the rest for a pork loin roast that's tender, juicy and bursting with flavor!
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Citrus and Fennel Pork Loin
Around the holidays (and for dinner parties in general) I always find myself wanting to come up with delicious ways to impress and feed a crowd without losing my mind. There's so much that goes into hosting guests for a meal and we should be able to serve great food without the extra stress.
A good pork loin roast recipe is a great thing to have up your sleeve and this Citrus and Fennel Pork Loin seriously delivers. The prep comes together in just under 10 minutes with simple ingredients we all typically have on hand. And the results are tender and juicy with the savory sweetness from the oranges and pork flavors and a bit of herby goodness from the Herbes de Provence. As an added bonus, you get a crazy delicious citrus roasted fennel and onion side dish along with it the pork!
Why choose pork loin for a holiday meal?
I think that pork loin is a seriously excellent choice to wow your friends and family. Here's why:
- I love that you can make so many pork loin recipes in the oven to cut down on all the extra nonsense that so many other main dish choices bring.
- When cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees and rested for 3-4 minutes, your pork loin roast will be tender, juicy and perfectly cooked every time.
- Pork loin is a lean and nutritious option, so you can enjoy your meal without a side of guilt.
- I had the pleasure of touring a pork farm with the National Pork Board in October and learned a great deal about how sustainable the farmer's practices are and how much love, care and respect for the animals goes into their operation. I can confidently say that I feel good about serving pork to my family and you should too.
Tips for how to cook pork loin in the oven
- Whenever I make pork loin, the first thing I do is remove the roast from the refrigerator and let it rest for 20 minutes while I preheat the oven and prepare the other ingredients for the recipe. This allows the pork to get a little closer to room temperature and cook evenly.
- I don't do anything fancy when cutting my vegetables. I just cut them all into large chunks around the same size and smash the garlic cloves to save time.
- You can absolutely adapt this recipe for a larger or smaller roast. The pork loin pictured was around 3 pounds because I have a smaller oven, but this is super easy to double.
- I use a digital meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the roast to make sure I don't overcook my pork.
- Let you pork loin rest for 3-4 minutes to redistribute the juices before carving.
What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
Both are lean cuts from the loin muscle but the pork loin is much wider and larger and has a layer of fat on the back on it. The tenderloin is smaller and a bit leaner. Both are delicious, just different.
Can you make this pork loin roast ahead?
Although I wouldn't encourage you to make the whole thing ahead of time, you can definitely prep the vegetables in advance. I'd encourage you to wait until the day you'll be serving it to assemble pour the sauce onto the pork loin as the citrus juice will act as a marinade and any more than a day could adversely affect the texture.
How do you make sure the pork loin is tender?
Your a digital meat thermometer and only cook the the pork to 145 degrees. Then rest it for 304 minutes to redistribute the juices.
Can you serve pork loin a little pink in the middle?
Yes, it's perfectly safe. As per the USDA website, for whole muscle cuts of pork the safe pork internal temp is 145 degrees with a 3 minute rest time after cooking.
Do you cook pork loin fat side up or down?
Definitely cook it fat side up because while it cooks the fat will render and add even more great flavor to the meat and the vegetables as it drips down.
How long does pork loin last?
Leftovers will stay good for 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for making a Pork Loin Roast:
- Pork Loin
- Clementine tangerines (or other variety of oranges)
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground back pepper
- Garlic powder
- Herbes de Provence
Ingredients to prep ahead:
- Cut fennel
- Cut onions
- Peel garlic
Citrus and Fennel Pork Loin
- Cooking spray
- 4 bulbs fennel trimmed and cut into large chunks
- 2 large onions peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 clementine tangerines, 4 cut into quarters and 2 juiced
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Hebes de Provence
- 1 3-4 pound boneless pork loin roast
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove pork loin from the resfrigerator and rest for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of
- Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and spread fennel, onion, garlic and tangerine chunks evenly over the bottom the pan.
- Drizzle vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining oil, juice from two clemantine tangerines, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, garlic powder and herbes de provence until well combined.
- Place pork loin on top of vegetables, fat side down.
- Pour half of the juice mixture over the pork loin and rub it in slightly.
- Turn the pork loin over so that the fat side is up and pour remaining juoce mixture over it, rubbing in slightly. Roast for 20 minutes uncovered to brown.
- Cover the roast with foil and continue cooking until the roast has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees in the thickest part.
- Remove from the oven and rest of 3-4 minutes. Slice and serve immediately with fennel on the side.
Don't forget to get more information about all-things -pork from these locations:
National Pork Board:
Real Pig Farming:
Try these other delicious pork recipes:
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